LOS ANGELES -- Standard & Poor's Corp. yesterday placed $208 million of San Diego County lease obligations on CreditWatch with negative implications.
Several years of increased health, welfare, and judicial costs, coupled with the recession and sluggish growth in property tax revenues, have eroded San Diego County's fiscal position, the rating agency said in a release.
"Despite excellent financial management," San Diego expects to end the fiscal year June 30 with no available reserve funds, Standard & Poor's said.
Jeffrey Thiamann, a vice president with Standard & Poor's in San Francisco, said that unless a fiscal 1993 budget proposal for the county is altered to restore a "significant degree of financial flexibility," the lease ratings are likely to be lowered in the next several months.
The bulk of the county's outstanding certificates are rated A-plus. Mr. Thiemann said that any downgrading would leave them in the single-A category.
He noted that the county has no outstanding general obligation issues. He said the $208 million of lease obligations represent the only Sab Diego county debt secured with geberal fund revenues.
The county's budget proposal currently custs spending for government, health, and recreation services by up to 13%. The county recently lost a battle to generate new revenues for justice facilities, when the state Supreme Court invalidated a local sales tax increase in Rider v. County of San Diego